You can help a retired Marine who is working to train America’s troops *UPDATED*

[UPDATE 5-5-15:  Learn here about the surprising, and very important, update to this story.]

About a month ago, our local newspaper ran an admiring article about a retired Marine who is training young people who want to enlist in the military (plus a video).  It turns out that, for some time, the gym has been in the cross-hairs of the usual Marin anti-military crowd, and there is an ongoing campaign to oust Gregory Allen from his location — the only one he can afford.  Here’s the flier that’s being circulated on the subject:

The city of San Rafael, in Marin County, California is trying to shut down the only program of its kind in the County. At his 0530 boot camp, 1st Lt. Gregory Allen USMC trains young boys who are in danger of falling victim to a life of alcohol and drugs and trains those interested joining the United States Military. He turns boys into men and prepares them for a life of honesty, integrity and service.

Local politicians have been trying to shut down the training program for years. Now they have slapped an outrageous “Users Permit” fee on Lt. Allen in order to keep the program running. Training takes place at his House of Steel gym. He charges nothing, giving countless hours of his time helping the boys train physically, mentally and emotionally – he helps their families and loved ones as well, answering their calls at all hours of the day and night. Over 80 young men and five young women have been through the program. There are currently 69 serving in the Military including twelve men and one woman in Afghanistan, two who are reporting for training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego this month and several others who will report in October 2010 . Sadly, we have lost four young men in the War on Terror.

In order to keep the program running, we must immediately raise $2,186. Time is of the essence and unfortunately this is not a charitable donation under IRS standards. We will issue certificates of appreciation for all sponsor level donations as requested and prominently place your name at the gym to show our appreciation of your support.

Please call 415-482-9120 if you have any questions. Thank you.

*Platinum Sponsor $250 and up
*Gold Sponsor $100 – $250
*Silver Sponsor $50 – $100
*Bronze Sponsor $20 – $50
*Supporter $5 – $20

Make checks payable to Lt. Gregory Allen. Mail to House of Steel, 33 Mary Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

If there’s more to this story, I don’t know it.